We went to Hyde Park on 4/20 to talk to people about weed

They sat on some grass and smoked some grass


If you haven’t been living under a rock you’ll know that today is 4/20. The day when everybody comes in public to smoke some weed.  We went to Hyde Park in Leeds to chat to the people celebrating it.

Smokers of all ages congregated in the park to celebrate 4/20 with the Leeds Cannabis Social Club. Some travelled from Grimsby and Hartlepool. Some even brought their dog.

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They all unite around one single idea – that cannabis should be legalised in the United Kingdom.

“We want to push for full legalisation. It’s the safest way to deal with the drug,” explained one of the organisers, calling himself Kaned Unable.

He added: “Cannabis currently exists in a black market, if there are any negative user experiences it’s harder to seek support and it’s important that medicinal users can access the right strain or type of cannabis”

With so many blatant joints, bongs and blunts littering Hyde Park, it would be easy to forget that possession of cannabis is still illegal in the UK. People had come out to celebrate 4/20 for various reasons. One guy I spoke to who did not want to be named says he uses it for medical purposes after having his leg amputated.

He said: “I use it before I go to bed because it helps to take away the phantom pain. There’s also no bad side effects compared to other pain relief medicines.”

That isn't a nice summer haze, it's a cloud of cannabis smoke

That isn’t a nice summer haze, it’s a cloud of cannabis smoke

The international day of weed means different things to different people. One man told us how it’s a celebration of the heroic college students who used to meet up at 4:20 every day to smoke weed. That’s how the legend goes.

One Leeds second year gave us a more light-hearted response. “For my age group it’s a trend,” she said. “We see it on Vines and YouTube, meaning it’s funny rather than serious. Nobody really knows what it means.”

She added, “It’s stupid to criminalise it. We’re adults we can make decisions about our own bodies and our lives.

“I’m a student, I have two jobs to support myself and  I have goals and I want to do well, it hasn’t got in my way of achieving that.”

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“It’s funny rather than serious”

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Many people attending the event told us how ridiculous it is to criminalise cannabis in the 21st century. A graduate said, “It’s all about freedom of choice, why can I go to the pub and drink alcohol when I can’t smoke a plant that’s harmed nobody?”

Some attendees were younger. A sixth former chimed in: “If you legalise it you can regulate it and make sure there’s a certain standard of quality with it.”

“The only way you can kill someone with weed is by dropping a significant weight of it on someone.”

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Curiously there was no police presence at the event. It would be difficult to manage considering the whole of Hyde Park lit up at 4:20pm.

Probably because the most violent thing people would do is ask for a light or try and take one of your chips.